What can I say about our time in Senegal?
It’s been a month, and I still am having trouble putting our time there down in words.
so, I’m going to break it down by our days, and hopefully the Lord will fill in the rest.
were travel days, we had a wonderful group that we got to go with. Steve: our mission’s pastor at TRBC, Debbie: our comedian and sage, Bev & Jim: an awesome couple that served in Senegal for 20 sum years, and Dustin & I: hopeful couple that really wants to do international mission.
I can’t express enough how great this group was, we meshed well, and laughed often and it made the trip lovely and easy.
On the second day we also met Roger, and I can’t give him a simple explanation because he does a million things for the Lord, he also has a great laugh and singing voice.
We meet John and his church in Kafountine. We meet Bibian, our translator and we prepare to go to the Island.
We spend time on the Island, we meet Christopher (the lone believer on the island), and we just fall in love with a land and a people that God has so wonderfully knitted together, thank you Jesus for sharing your creation and your love for it with us!
In this time, we grieved as well. Because these people that Jesus loves, these people that He has opened our hearts to, they live in fear and in rituals, they are held captive by demons and they are chained down, and I so desperately want to shake them and tell them that Christ is the key!!
You see, they are “catholic” animists, they believe that spirits inhabit objects and they will hurt you if you do not sacrifice, or if you walk away from them. They must be first, they must be satisfied.
Bev, Deb, and I would talk to women, and we would tell them of Christ and their eyes would gleam but then they would ask “does your Jesus allow us to worship our idols?” and when we said no, Christ is the only one, he has power and dominion over all things, and he is the only one that they can worship, the glimmer would deaden.
Oh my heart, how it broke and broke. Lord, why are they captive to these false things? I know the answer is sin and separation, but I thank God that he continually breaks my heart over these separations, I thank him that I have not grown apathetic.
While we there, we met a zillion kiddos that were so sweet and wonderful, who asked questions, and listened to stories, who held my hand, and taught me to dance and braided my hair. On the island, they will give you an African name when you’ve been considered apart of the family. And the kids named me. Pauline Sambou.
As the week went on, we grew closer to Christopher, to John, to Roger, to Bibian. They named Dustin Mahaus Sambou, after Roger’s father.
We held hands and prayed, we laughed, and taught each other words and songs from our own languages (and laughed more as we butchered them) and we became family.
and we love them.
We start our journey back home, stopping at Kafountine to prayer walk in Abene (another of John’s churches), overall we have prayed with three people to receive Christ. We shared more hugs and words and prayers, because tomorrow morning we will say goodbye to Christopher, John, and Bibian and we know it will feel like saying goodbye to a piece of ourselves.
We travel to Zinguinchor to meet Roger’s awesome wife and kids, we get to tour his school and orphanage, and let me tell you cool things, God things are happening there and we feel so honored to have witnessed that.
Today we also head back to America, our hearts more tender and our lives changed.
Thanks for your prayers and your support, I’m sorry this is a bit jumbled, but to be honest I still haven’t fully processed the full impact of our time there, but we wait in great anticipation for when the Lord allows us to see our people again.